Greenwich: a picturesque area of south-east London which attracts tourists by the hoards thanks to the Royal Observatory, Cutty Sark, and other maritime attractions — but where is there to eat?
The are has always had a fair few good pubs, but the dining options used to be fairly bleak with chains ruling the high street and a handful of disappointing indie options. But no more. Slowly, surely and without really trying, SE10 has a roster of lunch, dinner and drinking establishments that are decidedly pleasing. So, whether you’re after a relaxed bite after a stroll round the market, or have a hankering for a swanky night out, these are the best cafes, restaurants, pubs and bars in Greenwich.
Where to get breakfast in Greenwich
First up, how about stopping in to Royal Teas? This mini café on Royal Hill has umpteen coffee bean and tea varieties to choose from in small but perfectly formed surroundings. Here, all day breakfasts from the triumphant veggie breakfast (veg sausage, halloumi, roast tomatoes, scrambled eggs, mushrooms, beans, toast all for £6.75) to Belgian waffles with all the trimmings are so tasty you won’t even notice there’s no meat on the menu (there is fish though). Later in the day there are baguettes, wraps and gorgeous homemade cakes.
Looking for something meatier to get your teeth into? Head down Nevada Street, a quaint side at the north-east corner of Greenwich Park for Heap’s Sausages, a shop and café specialising in posh piggy wares. Sausage (and bacon) based breakfasts are available all day (veggie sausage options available), with gourmet sausage rolls, hand crafted pies and Algerian merguez and mash to tempt you in the interim. You can eat in or take away, and the menu offers a smattering of non-pork based items including homemade burgers and a daily quiche. Get a sausage on a stick for the road. Coffee is good, with three non-dairy options available and beer and wine comes out if you stay on for longer.
Craft Café (the more casual, drop-in all day version of actual Craft) on Greenwich Peninsula has a bakery and roastery on-site and brunches until 3pm so should be on your watch list too, but more on that later.
The best places for lunch in Greenwich
Most people agree that Goddards at Greenwich is incredible. The pie shop has been around since 1890, and some say they’re the best pies in London (to which we say: what about G. Kelly on Roman Road though?). They do proper liquor, jellied or stewed eels and even have vegan pies these days; perfect for getting your proper Cockney lunch fix.
For a more continental lunch in Greenwich, the Champagne + Fromage weekday set menu is a delicious choice. Feast on the intense cheesiness of raclette (molten Savoire over potatoes) with a salad, coffee and dessert of the day, and a glass of champagne, all for £19.95 (£11.95 without the fizz but really, why would you?). If that's too much, just share one of the three baked camembert options; or have the dreamy duck confit, whatever.
A meander round lovely Greenwich Market is an excellent lunch plan. if sitting down isn't a priority — if the weather's on your side, take your bounty up to park five minutes walk away and make a picnic of it. With anything from fresh banh mi to the sunshine flavours of Da Fish Ting (ceviche, salt cod and more all with a tropical twist every weekday), Oyster Brothers and Bad Brownie, everyone can find something to float their boat.
Pubs, gastropubs and bars in Greenwich
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: Greenwich has lucked out in the pub department. We particularly like The Gipsy Moth. It's right next to the Cutty Sark so good views are a given, and there’s a pretty outside area with a retractable roof — handy, because this is the UK, after all. Roasts are worth a look on a Sunday, and hearty pub favourites with a commendable nod to veggie and vegan diners feature the rest of the week. But you want to know about the beer: craft beers include the likes of Tiny Rebel, Siren and Brewdog and there’s a worldy selection on tap.
The Trafalgar Tavern is one to head to if you’re up for a walk along the river. It’s always busy thanks to its riverside location, with Victorian vibes alive and well. Drinks and views are better than the food, though fish and chips tends to go down well. If food is your priority, try The Cutty Sark Tavern (a Young’s pub). It’s a big space and it’s had a relatively recent refurb to restore its Georgian glory. The food is well above average — think gourmet burgers, beer battered fish and Angus sirloin steak.
More pub gold comes in the form of The Guildford Arms; another handsome Georgian pub with undoubtedly the best food of the lot. The roasts are well renowned in these parts and chef offers a well-sourced and beautifully curated Mediterranean/Modern British menu more suited to a restaurant. It's a gastropub in the original sense, with dishes like herbed ricotta cannelloni, grelots, spinach and olive pesto or pan roasted hake with creamed leeks, potatoes, salsify and cress. NOTE: closed for building work until November 2018.
If you’re serious about your beer, North Greenwich's Meantime Brewery is for you. It's been around since long before brewing craft beer became commonplace. Regular tastings and masterclasses take place with tours of the brewery and lots of beer geekery.
For focus on the grape rather than the hop, Davy’s Wine Vaults on Greenwich High Road is a standard go-to drinking destination. With 100+ carefully curated wines to work your way through, a fair choice of bottles ales and lager and an outdoor terrace all delivered with SE10’s signature 19th century charm, we can’t complain. The food is also on point for a bar — think bangers and mash, roasted cod and steak burgers, with lighter bar snacks also available — with the chef paying attention to seasonality and British ingredients. Directly below Davy's is The Cooperage, styled as a basement speakeasy bar with all exposed brick, cosy nooks and smart cocktails you’d hope for.
The best restaurants in Greenwich
Rivington Grill, located in the Greenwich Picturehouse building, offers service and surroundings as slick as its Shoreditch counterpart. Downstairs is relaxed with a large sweeping counter, bar snacks and offers for kids eating free, while upstairs is more of a dining room. The menus focus on simple, British stylish stuff food and we’re always happy eating there. The fish comes highly recommended in all its guises, and happily, the sausages are from Heap’s.
The Scandi-cool of Sticks N Sushi divides many a Greenwich-dweller, with some seeing it as overpriced compared to other equally good sushi options. But, plenty do like it, and rightly so in our opinion. If budget isn't a concern, go wild on intricately presented sushi, sashimi and all the sizzling kushiyaki (generic term for things skewered and grilled) you can manage — the menu is big enough, after all — and drink in the atmosphere of Japanese cool crossed with Danish minimalism.
If it’s not for you, then advance immediately to Zaibatsu where you’ll feel vindicated eating some of the best fusion sushi in the area for a snip of the price. We’ve popped this in the restaurant section but perhaps ‘restaurant’ feels like too strong a word; it’s quite a clinical, functional space, though extremely friendly. Locals love the prices, everything is freshly cooked to order and you can BYO for free. Win win. Prepare to queue though.
Fancy restaurants and fine dining in Greenwich
As with all of Stevie Parle’s places, the food at Craft next to the O2 is exceptional, the styling is as cool as you’d expect from Tom Dixon putting his oar in, and the staff are really fab, making for an experience far superior to that at any of the nearby chain restaurants. Get the cod roe courgette flower if it’s on, or you can really splash out and pre-order the always-famous clay baked duck. If you can’t get in then you might want to look further afield for something really memorable; perhaps Marcella in Deptford or Sparrow in Lewisham, or revisit our suggestions in the Restaurants section.
Coffee shops in Greenwich
We like Red Door, which is a super cute vintage styled café, gallery and shop by the market — it’s quite hippy with boho vibes and has quirky local art on the walls. The chilled atmosphere makes it a good place to spend an afternoon working, and its location makes for fascinating people watching as you munch on the scrumptious cakes. Lots of vegan and gluten-free options available.
Award-winning coffee and a choice of organic teas are available at the very family-friendly Plumtree Café on Greenwich High Road. Unpretentious, welcoming and often as noisy as you'd expect with a playhouse and ride-on toys dotted about the place, you can come here to relax with the kids and treat yourself to a homemade fairy cake, breakfast or a hot lunch.
Alternatively, the iconic view across London from The Pavilion Café justifies the walk to the top of the hill at the Royal Observatory. It’s not somewhere we’d suggest lingering for hours on your laptop, but it’s a very handy little pitstop for a restorative fairtrade coffee and cake, or something more satisfying like pizza. It’s licensed and there’s farm shop ice cream to revive worn out little ones
If it’s coffee rather than the shop you’re after, there’s a stall in Greenwich Market that does a roaring trade in flavoured coffee beans.
Late night drinking in Greenwich
Greenwich isn’t known for it’s banging nightlife, but it's not a complete wasteland. Over on the Peninsula, Indigo at the O2 is a 24 hour venue and hosts some huge club nights in addition to the smaller stage comedy and live music events it’s known for, but you’ll need a ticket or some stellar blagging skills.
Up the Creek hosts popular comedy nights and there’s an after-party Friday and Saturday nights until 2am with a mixed crowd dancing away to all the classics for £5 entry.
For something less lively, try the mellow vibes of Oliver’s Jazz Bar behind the Greenwich Theatre, where you can have a sophisticated drink or two and soak up the sounds until 2am on weekends. Nice.
Alternatively, there’s a Belushi’s which is open until 2am for emergencies if you can’t be faffed getting an Uber to livelier Peckham or similar.
Made you hungry? Visit our guide to the best food and drink in London for other restaurants, bars and pubs across the capital that are worth visiting.